Art for a Cause

blog AurorasKiss11Varied collective of local artists come together in “Aurora’s Kiss”

A diverse cast of local artists will showcase their respective talents this Saturday night in “Aurora’s Kiss,” a multi-media theatrical production whose proceeds will benefit charitable programs in the area.

The fundraising event will take place at the recently renovated Ristorante Barolo in Aptos, and is billed as an intimate carnival-esque cabaret that will fuse theater, bluegrass, jazz, spoken word, live art, burlesque, bellydance, and a female-driven DJ lineup.

Among the featured attractions is Tales of a Dollhouse, an ensemble of women who convey stories through dance, song, and spoken word. In “Aurora’s Kiss,” the ensemble will present “Tales of a Dollhouse, Part II: Under a Cold Moon,” the second of a four-part series that explores issues of culture and identity. “Each one of these moves through a different social-spiritual issue, something that’s relevant and that gives voice to women,” says Gitana Martinez, artistic director for Tales of a Dollhouse.

Proceeds will benefit the production of “Tales of a Dollhouse, Part III,” providing scholarships for participants and assisting in production costs. To return the favor, the show will provide some food for thought. “You pose a question,” explains blog AurorasKissMartinez. “Right now in the United States, what are some things that come up around sexual orientation or sexual identity, culture, race, inherited legacy?” She continues, “And how do you personally feel about this? And so you ask the really intimate questions.” Asking such questions is important to Martinez, who says, “It’s the alchemy of transformation.”

In addition to acting as a spiritual sounding board, the project seeks to benefit the community, by partnering with programs that offer services to the homeless, at-risk youth, formerly incarcerated women, and women in recovery.

“Aurora’s Kiss” will feature numerous other performers, including The Juncos, Digital Honey, DJ Sparkle, DJ M.L.E. Wax, DJ Cultura Cura, as well as Gina Rene of The X Factor fame, who is among the Tales of a Dollhouse ensemble. The interdisciplinary show will also include live art by Elijah Pfotenhauer, photography by Justin Downard, and videography by Spencer Wilkinson.

It is an evening that promises to offer a broad assortment of local talent and a healthy message about the importance of art in the community. “What’s valuable to me is the intertwining of beauty and justice,” says Martinez, “and honoring our collective stories.”

“Aurora’s Kiss” takes place at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at Ristorante Barolo, Bayview Hotel, 8041 Soquel Drive, Aptos. Dinner is at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15/adv, $20/door, $40/adv ticket & dinner, $45/door ticket & dinner. Tickets available at Streetlight Records. For more information, contact [email protected], or call (510) 387-3793.

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